Johnson’s sense of the role of the individual in society is a thread that runs through both “Dr. King’s Refrigerator,” his latest collection of short fiction, and “Passing the Three Gates,” a compilation of interviews with the author that spans from 1976 to 2003.
The interviews in “Passing the Three Gates” are remarkably consistent in subject matter and literary attitude. For Johnson the questions of literature are the same as in life: Who am I? What is my relationship to the society I live in? How do I balance my own desires with other people’s values and experience?